Book Review: “The Demon Girl Next Door” by Izumo Ito

 

Cover of "The Demon Girl next Door" by Izumo Ito
Cover of “The Demon Girl Next Door” by Izumo Ito

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “The Demon Girl Next Door” by Izumo Ito! It’s been a while since I reviewed any manga, and I thought the concept of this volume would be fun to read! Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“One morning, fifteen-year-old Yoshida Yuko wakes up to discover she has sprouted demon horns and a tail! Not only that, she learns from her mom that she has supernatural powers and an important mission—to restore her family’s glory by defeating the local magical girl. The magical girl in question is Chiyoda Momo, a student at Yuko’s school. With strength that is only mediocre at best, Yuko’s task to vanquish Momo will prove more challenging than she realizes in this topsy-turvy magical girl comedy.”

Plot Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The main plot is that the demon girl, Yoshida, must defeat Chiyoda, the magical girl. However, both of them slowly become friends with a bit of rivalry due to their destined roles against each other, rather than straight-up trying to destroy each other. It’s hilarious to read because it’s obvious that Chiyoda is way stronger than Yoshida as is. This point rings especially true at the beginning of this manga’s first volume.

I also enjoyed how they became friends over time. Despite Yoshida initially seeking out to actually destroy Chiyoda, she quickly realized that she was too weak to do so and she had a lot more to learn first before their battle could happen. I like how she initially tried to get close to Chiyoda in order to defeat her, only to become friends with her instead. It truly was a heartwarming development to read in the plotline.

However, not much else happens in the plot. There are plot points of Yoshida talking to her ancestor demon in her dreams, occasionally, but there haven’t been many side plots yet or anything close to that that kept me as ar reader engaged. I think this will change in later volumes. Since this is the beginning, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to minimize side plots for now.

Character Development: 4 out of 5 stars

I liked that the manga took its time to develop Chiyoda and Yoshida’s friendship, as well as develop Yoshida’s relationship with her mother and one of her demon ancestors. It makes me wonder, as a reader, if Chiyoda’s mother knows that Chiyoda is also a magical girl. I also wonder if we’ll get to meet Chiyoda’s parents in future volumes of the series, or maybe past ancestors like how Yoshida has hers.

I also am curious to learn more about how Chiyoda found out she was a magical girl. She was obviously aware before Yoshida was about the magical girl vs. demon situation. However, how did she learn about it in the past? Was it by chance somewhat, like how Yoshida suddenly gained her horns one day? Or was it an entirely different situation? I think learning more about this would lend well to developing Yoshida more in future volumes, and I’m sure the story will touch on it during then.

Worldbuilding Development: 4 out of 5 stars

I loved the concept of the book going in from the beginning. I also enjoyed how Chiyoda’s adjustment to being a demon girl added to the worldbuilding. As she discovered new things about her lineage, ancestors, and her abilities, I felt like I was taking the journey along with her. This, coupled with the discoveries she made through her growing friendship with Yoshida, made the new things learned about the magic and the demon vs. magical girl rivalry feel organic. None of it felt forced or indo-dumped out of nowhere. This is often hard to achieve in a fantasy/magical girl-esque series, especially in the first volume.

My only main complaint also ties into what I mentioned in the character development section. I want to learn more about how Yoshida found out she was a magical girl. This is so I can see if she had a similar situation to Yoshida about suddenly waking up and learning about all of these things. I really do hope the rest of the series elaborates on this because of this point, since she’s the other protagonist along with Chiyoda.

Overall, I’m rating this book 4 out of 5 stars!

This book started off the series strong overall. I look forward to picking up future volumes of this series to see how Chiyoda and Yoshida’s budding friendship grows.


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